Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Recession bites Bury - and beyond

October 01 2009
Homeless services nationwide are suffering The Pavement has reported how the economic downturn is affecting services near you in London and Scotland, but this week we look at homeless services nationwide. In the North of England, a day centre in the town of Bury has lost funding from the local council. Bury Housing Concern had received a £75,000 grant each year since 1998 to help rough sleepers across the borough. The council extended the funding through the summer, a last-minute lifeline thanks to residents and services users seeking a judicial review under the Disability Discrimination Act. But this September was the deadline for the investigation and the future now looks uncertain. Nick Chew, secretary to the charity's trustees, told local press: "Without this money, we will have to close down and make our staff redundant. Homeless people will have nowhere else to go. They could die on the streets because they won't have anywhere to turn. They might start committing petty crime because they have no money for food." Mr Chew and his colleagues are not alone in their concerns. In the South West, a night shelter in Bristol for rough sleepers is closing because of funding cuts. The local government believe that rough sleeper numbers in the city have fallen so low that they can be accommodated with other services. The Compass Centre, in Jamaica Street, provided about 20 beds a night for the homeless. Meanwhile, Willow Walker, a magazine for rough sleepers in Cambridge, has seen its funding dry up. But unlike other services, local councils here have called a meeting, set to take place after The Pavement goes to print, in a bid to fundraise to save the publication.